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Humanity in Action The Netherlands and COVID - 19 UPDATE



COVID – 19 has turned our world upside down. We are all affected, both on a personal and professional level. The pandemic exacerbates the pressures on the functioning of the rule of law and democracy and further emphasizes the importance of the protection of human rights – and marginalized and vulnerable communities in particular – globally. Humanity in Action The Netherlands has made a number of programmatic adjustments in this context. We uphold our commitment to human rights, democracy and inclusive society.

COVID-19 & Human Rights

Governments have taken measures that deeply affect our daily lives, severely restricting our freedoms. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it painfully clear just how vulnerable certain groups in our societies are, such as the elderly, the homeless, the ill, and refugees. Overt discrimination, racism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism have emerged. The number of calls for help from those subjected to domestic violence is rising sharply. And what about the protection of our privacy worldwide?

Now, more than ever, it is necessary to put a stop to discriminatory behaviour. We are in need of diverse new thinkers and doers from different disciplines and walks of life, who are committed to justice and specifically the rights of minorities and the most marginalized in our society. There is a concrete urgency to make an effort to strengthen social cohesion and civic engagement.

Programmatic Adjustments 2020 – 2021

We are confronted with an exceptional period of physical distance, decrease of educational opportunities and employment, insecurity, and the intensification of social justice challenges in our society. Humanity in Action The Netherlands closely collaborates with young talent to investigate current social challenges in the light of the pandemic, whilst encouraging them to take action. The crises that societies experience as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic moreover accelerate our efforts to increase virtual activities and produce deliverables that are not only dependent on people meeting each other physically.


  • The Fellowship 2020 – 2021 (June 2020 – June 2021)
    In 2020, we will implement an innovative hybrid Fellowship while retaining our mission, objectives, didactic principles and impact. The 2020 Fellowship is divided into three phases:
  1. Hybrid program – 3 June 2020 to 24 June 2020
    The kick-off of the Fellowship consists of combined (inter-)national virtual programming. The Dutch Fellowship welcomes 26 Fellows from the Netherlands, the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France and Greece

  2. ACTION LABS & Action Projects – October 2020 to May 2021
    During this period, the Dutch Fellow cohort is supported intensively to help set up civic actions to support and emancipate the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. Fellows HUB – offline if possible – spring 2021
    We foresee an (inter-)national gathering in 2021, completing the year long Fellowship.

This year, a number of virtual sessions will be open to a wider audience. The dates of the public webinars will be published on our website and social media on 2 June 2020.

  • HIA Junior – 21 October 2020 to 24 October 2020
    During the autumn break, the 7th edition of HIA Junior will take place. In mid-August, the theme will be announced and we will start welcoming applications.

Public events and Action Projects

Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic, not all public events and Action Projects planned during the first few months of the year could take place. 

Last-minute, 2019 Fellows Annelie Boeren  & Tess Luttikhuis organized at the beginning of 2020 their Action Project “Talking About Inequality, performed at a primary school in Tilburg.

The sold-out Workshop Alledaags Racisme 19 March 2020, a collaboration with Meldpunt Discriminiminatie Regio Amsterdam and Pakhuis de Zwijger, was cancelled. The workshop is re-planned in the fall. Did you register in March? Keep an eye on your e-mail; we are happy to welcome you in September.

The HIA Talks x Freedom Meal, an Action Project of Lecyca Curiel and Lisa Nussy in the context of 4 & 5 May and 75 Years of Freedom could not take place. Instead, together with the other 2019 Fellows, Lecyca and Lisa created a short film and blogpost about future-proof and inclusive remembrance. In 2021, we will go all out with a Humanity in Action HIA Talks x Freedom Dinner.

COVID – 19 Senior Fellow Network

While our regular, face-to-face programming was put on hold for a few months, worldwide many of our Senior Fellows jumped into action. Do you want to know what the Humanity in Action network thinks about the crisis? And what our Fellows and Senior Fellows are doing to help their own communities? Watch and participate in our new Web Conversation, “Humanity in Action in the Midst of COVID-19“!

Program Manager Raissa Biekman and Executive Director Laura Lasance

Thank you

We would like to thank our incredible network, supporters and funders for their continued support during this exceptional time. Together, we will ensure that we, along with our Senior Fellows and future young leaders, continue to advocate for human rights, democracy and inclusive society. 

We thank our incredible network and funders for their continued support during these exceptional times.

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